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Cena Jo Thiel
Retired legal secretary
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On March 11, 2010 in Manteca, Ca, Cena “Jo” Thiel, 83, was called to her heavenly home while surrounded by her beloved family. Waiting to meet “Jo” in heaven were her husband and partner of 54 years John Thiel, daughter Cynthia, parents, William and Minnie Critchfield and 4 siblings: Howard, Walt and James Critchfield and a sister Irene Tyler.

Born on April 27, 1926, Jo is survived by her loving children; Spencer Thiel of Modesto, Vickie Bairos of Manteca, and Pamela Milligan and husband David of Manteca. She has two siblings Cal Critchfield of Sonora and Ruth Nichols of Napa. She was blessed by 8 grandchildren; Michael Thiel, Jeanette Doen and husband Jeffery, Tim Thiel and wife Christy, Jason Bairos and wife Erica, Jody Bairos,Cheyenne Milligan, Derek Milligan and Danielle Justice and husband Steve. In addition Jo has 10 great grandchildren who she adored Trenton, Avery, Gabriella, Ava, Mykel, Victoria, Christian, Michael, Zachary, and Darien. She was also survived by numerous nieces and nephews who she loved dearly.

Jo was a legal secretary for various attorneys for over 40 years in the Manteca and Stockton areas. She enjoyed the Christian fellowship atmosphere with many churches in the Manteca and Modesto area, and was proud to minister with her God given gift of music by singing, playing the organ, and the piano at various churches including; Sequoia Heights, Cornerstone, 1st Baptist, 1st Assembly, and Vintage Fair. While attending 1st Baptist Church, Jo also served as the church secretary for many years. During the 70s and 80s while attending 1st Assembly of God, Jo and some close friends formed a professional singing group called the “Echoes of Praise” and even recorded an album with them. Jo shared her love of playing the piano by teaching hundreds of students for several years. And Jo didn’t have to be in a church setting to share the message of Jesus, even when traveling with her husband in their motor home Jo was always organizing a ministry of bible study and praise where ever they were camping. She was a wonderful God fearing woman who loved her Lord unconditionally and loved to praise God with her whole heart.

Jo was also very active in the Manteca Senior Center where she enjoyed being around her peers; laughing, being social and traveling to various spots organized by the Senior Center. She also wrote the article for the Senior Center every week that was published in the Manteca Bulletin.

Jo was a wonderful mother who always supported her children in whatever dream they had. When her grandchildren were brought into this world, she was the perfect grandmother caring for her grandchildren supporting them, loving them, and sharing her love of music with each and every one of them. Jo’s family meant the world to her and had a special place in her heart for each and every one of them.

Jo will be remembered as a fun loving lady who always had a song in her heart ready to minister to anyone who was ready to hear the praises of her Lord. She touched so many lives with her ministry of music which will never be forgotten.

Mrs. Thiel’s services are being handled by P.L .Fry & Son Funeral Home of Manteca. Visitation will be held on Monday, March 15,, 2010 from 1 to 5 p.m. held at P.L. Fry & Son Funeral Home of Manteca 290 N. Union Road, Manteca. A celebration of life service will be held at The Place of Refuge (formally known as 1st Assembly of God) 486 Button Ave. Manteca at 10 a.m. She will be laid to rest with her beloved husband at Park View Cemetery. An on-line guest book is available at
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Saturday, March 13, 2010